So you know you will be starting your novel and you know you are going to do your best to keep writing but where do you begin? Do you just create a giant outline like you did in high school or do you just go at the writing as soon as it is 12:01 am on November 1st? So what do you do then? My suggestion: do what feels right for you. If you don’t like organizing things then don’t. If you like free writing your ideas do that. Above all just stick with that plan and don’t falter in anyway or you will fail. I have been a pantser(one who just writes with no organization) and I have been a planner and have always found if I go about changing my style halfway through then I just stop writing or it gets worse.
How do I organize my stuff then when I am feeling like being a planner? Well it used to be just a word document and listing the chapters and the summary for each chapter underneath it. Later down the road I discovered programs like liquid story binder, ywriter5, and scrivener. Currently I am using scrivener and love how I can use it though some days I do miss using liquid story binder but know I can’t afford it. For those who can’t afford editing programs, and don’t approve of pirating, you can always use ywriter5 which is a free to use program and works just as well.
In these programs you can make scenes and have character profiles to refer to while you write and actually write your manuscript in it. There isn’t much when it comes to gadgets on them so you wont get distracted and you can full screen them but there is still enough to do everything you ever need.
When I used programs to organize I’ve always worked on the story line/plot generalization of everything and then fleshed out the characters as I went along. I felt if I were to flesh just one piece out at once then I would have to build everything else to fit its needs and that was too constricting for my tastes. To each his own though and this is where you just start to think on how you would like to do it all.
So what does my organization of my stories look like when I write? Here are some pictures of my current project: Mind of Kalla
Put it simply, I kept most of it short and simple and never made anything directly mentioning the plot or going into to detail of a plot so I had free roaming capability inside the writing and just a general idea f what I wanted and how I wanted to go about doing it. As you can see on the side I also have folders with more subjects covering plots, settings and more characters. So my advice: Go with what you’re comfortable with and don’t try and do something you’re unsure of unless you are adventurous with it. Try out different ways to see the best way to go about it is and perhaps you will find a way that works better than how I do my own.